Shiny wood floors and delicate antiques are lovely, but how to keep them in good condition? We asked some experts to tell us the secret to caring for wood.
Have you heard of these types of wood?
For Large Projects
Antiques restorer Maryalice Huggins is loyal to paste wax but understands that many are resistant to it due to the "elbow-grease factor." For large projects like paneling or dried-out wooden doors, she recommends a liquid paste wax like Liberon Liquid Beeswax.
New in home decor: the laid-back look of washed wood
Make Old Wood New
Carol Prisant, a former antiques dealer, calls Oz Cream Polish by the Behlen company "a bottled miracle. Without requiring any particular effort, it cleans, polishes, and instantly turns dull old wood into gorgeous shining expanses of natural grain. As a sideline, it's also excellent for shining up old leather desk sets, mirrors, Venetian blinds, bathroom fixtures, even marble."
Wood paneling does not have to be reminiscent of your "mother's den" circa 1970
For Antique Wood
Hal Faust, the owner of What It's Worth in Austin, Texas, and a manufacturer of wood floors made from antique wood, advises that you "skip the polyurethane and use an oil finish." If your floors have a natural oil finish, says Faust, you can reapply oil, like Minwax Tung Oil, to soften scratches or maintain shine. "For routine maintenance, just mop with a damp Swiffer mop and maybe wax it once or twice a year. I saw a beautiful oiled floor recently where a woman had done nothing but mop it with a damp Swiffer mop for three years. She had three kids and two dogs, but the floor looked fabulous."
Learn how to restore your favorite antiques
Preserve Your Wood
Tyler Hays, founder and designer of BBDW, a handmade-furniture company, favors Howard Feed-N-Wax, a beeswax and orange oil product that protects with little buildup.
Keep your wood floors in great shape
From the Kitchen Cabinet
Out of polish? Contractor Stephen Fanuka knows you have to look no further than your cabinets. To get a nice clean shine, he recommends mixing nine parts warm water with one part white vinegar. It doesn't get easier than that.
PLUS: Check out our favorite iPhone apps for home projects
Do you have the secret to caring for wood? Share it with us!
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